Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Using Art as Inspiration for Writing

In the July/August edition of Writer's Digest, Donna Baier Stein writes about using art as inspiration for writing. Inspiration can come from anywhere, but visual images can be an especially powerful source of writing ideas because they appeal to our senses and are in themselves a creative act. Stein offers some suggestions about where to find images including museums, online art collections, local galleries, books of art from the library, and collections of poster prints. I would add photographs to that list. We are bombarded with photo images today and every one has a story.

When using these images as Ask questions about the image. Who is in it? What is the backstory? Can you think of an alternate backstory?

Many works of literature have been inspired by art (and no doubt the opposite is also true). And yes, I have done this myself. My novel The Rose Ring was inspired by the wallpaper border in my kitchen. I spent years thinking I wanted to write a story about someone who lived above the bookshop. It took a while, but the story finally materialized.

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